What I've Learned from the Campaign

What I've Learned from the Campaign

As I am looking at this last week of campaigning, several things stand out to me.

The good:

1.       I’ve met some incredible people along the way- good, “salt of the earth” folks, who I believe will continue to be friends for the future, whether we win or lose this race.

2.       Most people want a better future for their children and beyond.

3.       CD25 is a beautiful district- from the Hill Country, lakes, rivers, cattle and sheep country, cities, suburban and rural. All have something positive to offer their residents.

4.       There are reasonable people on both sides, people who are willing to listen to reason, who understand science, and who won’t let ideology rule their lives.

The bad:

1.       I’m astounded at the names I’ve been called by people who never met me- the B-word, the C-word, and more. Really? That is how you were brought up, to attack someone personally because you disagree with her beliefs, when you don’t even know them?

2.       There are many “intentionally ignorant” folks- people who refuse to believe science, who refuse to believe that humankind is impacting climate change at all, when the science is truly irrefutable. They have attacked me far more about my climate change video that even my gun safety one!

3.       There are those who don’t care that our current congressperson has received over 75% of his donations from people outside of the district (equaling ~90% of his money), or that he has spent very little actually campaigning, mostly for entertainment & meals (expensive meals!), staff salaries and consultants. They also don’t care about his long-term ethics problems, dating back to the 1980s.

 

My takeaway is this:

Change is difficult, I get that. But if we want our descendants to thrive, we must change some of the ways we’re doing things. Right now, for example, we subsidize the fossil fuel industry, as well as industrial farming that produces many of the products used in junk food. (A Twinkie is made with 17% subsidized products, for example.) WHY are we subsidizing industries that harm us, drive our healthcare costs up, and then scream when folks want to make changes to move those subsidies to industries that will help drive our healthcare costs down? For example, our air is predicted to be so bad by 2025, Texas will lead the nation in illnesses such as asthma, and other illnesses caused by oil & gas production.

 

That will drive our healthcare costs up even more, not to mention harming our children! If, however, we changed our subsidies to wind, solar, thorium, and battery backup R&D, we could clean up our air tremendously.

 

We subsidize industrial farm interests, and they grow a large number of products that end up in junk food. Why are we subsidizing them, and not organic farmers, or at least those growing fruits and vegetables that are used to eat, not to make high fructose corn syrup? We need to look at the way we do farming in our country, and change that model, too. Large industrial farms use tons of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, all of which are bad for our earth and people. It is a HUGE industry with billions of dollars. It won’t be easy to change, but if VOTERS will insist to their Congress people and Senators, and stay on them, making it clear they will lose votes if they don’t vote for change, we CAN change the systems. I am not opposed to the government helping the industrial farms change their model, but I am very much opposed to continuing things as they are.

 

It is insanity (and short term greed) to continue to subsidize these industries that are killing us, yet, the fearful attack me for daring to ask “why”. It is like the old saying, “Feed the hungry, and you’re called a saint, ask WHY they’re hungry, and you’re called a communist.” I’m neither, just someone who wants better for my daughter’s future, and all our descendants. In the Cherokee Nation, we’re supposed to look at the results of decisions we make 7 generations into the future. Imagine if decisions were made like that! It wouldn’t be this greedy “IBG” (I don’t care what happens in the future because “I’ll be gone”) mindset.

 

PT Barnum said it best- “It is much easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.” Just as science finally won out in the tobacco wars (yes, smoking DOES cause cancer in the majority of folks exposed to it), I believe science will win out in the energy and food sector. The question is, will it be too late? In parts of Florida, rising sea levels are already impacting them. We’ve got a pretty long coastline in Texas, it may not be in CD25, but I hope we are understand that what we do (or don’t) impacts other people, and that what we do to others matters.

Posted on 2 Nov 2016, 10:07 - Category: Responsible Governance

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